COVID-19 is not going anywhere. It is slowly become clear that the pandemic is here to stay. This has made organisations realise that a large part of their workforce will continue to work from home for longer than expected. To ensure productivity of their employees, many firms are ensuring they are able to work comfortably from home. They are providing them not just laptop and internet connections but even ergonomic chairs and study tables to ensure their health and wellness as they clock in long work hours from home.
To ensure business continuity, HSBC started with moving laptops and desktops to staff locations. Almost 22,000 laptops and 6,000 desktops were moved. "But as lockdown was extended, it required additional measures to be implemented to ensure staff health and comfort while working from home," says Jai Pawani, Chief Operating Officer, HSBC India. The firm then gave employees the option to request for the support they require.
According to the requests made, around 300 ergonomic chairs were delivered to staff while 20,000 large-sized monitors and keyboards were also moved to employees residence. Priority was given to employees with known health issues, said Pawani. Around 9,550 UPS were also procured and delivered to employees who were into critical and customer facing roles to support them with uninterrupted power supply.
Not all firms delivered directly, many choose to reimburse them for the purchases made to set up the office at home. To make virtual working seamless, Walmart Labs started reimbursing the employees not just for IT but also physical infrastructure requirements, says its Vice President - People, Sudeep Ralhan. The employees can, since March 2020, avail reimbursements for internet, mini-UPS and headphones and for ergonomic desk or chair. For family support, even cost of nanny services is borne by the firm as workplace creche is closed.
No wonder, furniture brands are seeing a spike in queries for work for home furniture. "Since last month, we have seen many organisations enquiring about how best to support their workforce working from homes," says Sameer Joshi, Associate Vice President, Marketing (B2B), Godrej Interio.
He adds, "We are getting several enquiries for Ergonomic Chairs and Desks. Most of the organizations are negotiating with us, securing rates and then giving choice to their employees to order from us directly."
Since the space available at every home is unique, Joshi says, firms prefer to give options to the employees to choose the furniture they like to purchase. "The foldable desks due to their space saving have registered huge spike in sales. Demand for motion chairs, foldable chairs, interactive poufs have also increased," says Joshi.